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U.S. Soldiers Posed With Afghan Bombers' Corpses
Eight years after photographs of U.S. soldiers torturing prisoners at Abu Gharib shocked the country and world, there's now a set of photographs showing U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan posing with body parts of bombers. The photo were given to the LA Times, which reports that the soliders were initially supposed to get iris scans and fingerprints to ID "the mangled remains of an insurgent suicide bomber."
From the Times:
The 82nd Airborne Division soldiers arrived at the police station in Afghanistan's Zabol province in February 2010. They inspected the body parts. Then the mission turned macabre: The paratroopers posed for photos next to Afghan police, grinning while some held — and others squatted beside — the corpse's severed legs. A few months later, the same platoon was dispatched to investigate the remains of three insurgents who Afghan police said had accidentally blown themselves up. After obtaining a few fingerprints, they posed next to the remains, again grinning and mugging for photographs.
Two soldiers posed holding a dead man's hand with the middle finger raised. A soldier leaned over the bearded corpse while clutching the man's hand. Someone placed an unofficial platoon patch reading "Zombie Hunter" next to other remains and took a picture.
Relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan are currently strained at best, after last month's horror where a U.S. soldier went on a rampage and killed 16 Afghanistan civilians, including nine children, February's incident of Korans being burned by NATO forces, and video of Marines peeing on dead Afghans surfaced in January.
...U.S. soldiers weren't alone in conveying troubling messages. Journalist Peter Wilson watched as a Los Angeles Times reporter walked to the driver's window of a destroyed minibus on central Baghdad's Sinak Bridge. Inside the broken window was the carbonized corpse of the vehicle's driver, its charred arm resting on the window's ledge. Bidding a photographer standing nearby to take his photo, the reporter, Geoffrey Mohan, stood about a foot from the corpse and, with his pen poised over his notebook, asked: "Well, sir, do you have any comment on what has happened to you here?"